Cumberbatch for Doctor Strange
Benedict Cumberbatch could be going from detective to superhero, after it was reported he is Marvel's number one choice to play Doctor Strange.
The movie studio has been considering several actors for the title role in their big screen adaptation of the comic book, about a neurosurgeon who serves as the Sorcerer Supreme, protecting Earth against mystical threats.
Now Deadline has reported that Marvel have set their sights on Sherlock star Benedict and negotiations are about to begin to sign him up.
The studio has reportedly been keen to work with the British actor for some time, but will have to work around his obligations to the new series of Sherlock and starring in a production of Hamlet on the London stage next year.
Doctor Strange, directed by horror movie maker Scott Derrickson, is expected to begin filming at Pinewood-Shepperton studios in May 2015, with a release date already set for July 8, 2016.
Oscar-winner Joaquin Phoenix was previously linked to the superhero role, but Marvel's negotiations with the actor reportedly broke down earlier this month.
Benedict will next be seen in Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game, due out in November and already attracting Oscar buzz.
The actor will also be seen fronting a new TV campaign highlighting forthcoming BBC drama programmes, while he reads from the "All the world's a stage" monologue which is delivered by Jauqes in Shakespeare's As You Like It.
The trail features clips from adaptations of the JK Rowling novel The Casual Vacancy and Roald Dahl's Esio Trot, as well as the dramatisations of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
It will be screened from this evening.